Time has finally come!! ArduCopter Alpha 1.0 is here

We have been talking about this release for a while while it's been in development and testing, but it's finally ready for daylight. Its been long and exhausting 4 months or so that we have been doing this project, there has been a lot of long nights and will be more. But today is a huge milestone: on behalf our whole team, I'm happy to release our first official ArduCopter Alpha 1.0 release for our users.

This code has been tested over multiple ArduCopters, they all worked out of the box after proper installation eg. EEPROM reset and calibration and we have not found anything alarming but I am sure that there are bugs lurking behind the corner. If you are afraid of bugs, then better to wait till we are in beta but if you think you can handle some small issues this is now ready for ou to play with.

What you need to know of this release are:
  • This is an First Alpha release so there might be some bugs waiting, we just haven't found any yet.
  • New orientation system: Always mount your APM/IMU aligned by Front/Rear Arms eg. in + configuration. X mode is switched from software it self and you are not allowed to rotate your APM on frame.
  • Before switching to X mode, test your settings and Artificial Horizont on + mode. When X mode it activated from software, Artificial Horizon on Configurator shows AH incorrectly (this will be fixed later on Configurator itself)
  • On X mode, your original "nose" rotates 45° to CCW eg Front becomes Front/Left
  • New variables and default settings so RESET your EEPROM by doing Initial Installation procedures
  • Unzip file and copy all Libraries from this zip file to your Arduino/Libraries folder and replace them if you had some of the libraries already installed. This Alpha release is designed to work with Libraries included on ZIP file.
  • Zip file contains Arducopter_alpha_RC1 folder where all firmware codes are and also libraries folder is there.

Alpha 1.0 Features:
  • Acro / Stable modes, changeable by switch input from radio
  • + and x modes, changeable from software code, APM orientation always as +
  • Magnetometer support (optional, default is off)
  • Finetuned PID controllers on stable mode
  • More cleaner code
  • 200Hz main loop

Sorry guys, no GPS features yet. We have some issues with it so we temporary took it out. We try to find it out as soon as possible. This is built on the APM code, which has full scripted GPS navigation, so as soon as we turn it on ArduCopter will have full UAV functionality.

For feedback please use #47 ticket on our issue tracker in here.

If you find bug or expect that you have a bug, please open new issue for us so we can look it. But before opening issues, try to reproduce your problem 2-3 times at least. If you can reproduce it, post an issue for it.

Also if you have code proposals of feature proposals you can post them too as new issue. But again before posting, check our wiki pages to see if someone has proposed it already of it or proposed feature is already on issue lists or on our software roadmap.

General help can be found from our Wiki pages at GoogleCodes ArduCopter Wiki

Happy flying guys/gals and don't do anything that I would not do :)

File download: ArduCopter_Alpha.1.0

(Current and future files can be found from wiki download areas too,
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


    at 1:05 it can do a fast descending....
    it is possible
  • Just wondering, could the vortex be overcome by rotating the quad slightly during rapid descents?
  • My problem was the wobble was so violent that when I gave it throttle is seemed to continue to wobble and would not settle back down - I have seen this with my Gaui 330X and yes throttle does in fact stop the descent wobble - But I was unable to get it back under control before crashing -

  • Developer
    Mike, yes just like Chris said.. descend slow or slower than you did earlier. If your quad falls on vortex just give throttle to stabilize it again and then you can continue descending. Every VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) device has different safe vertical descending speed. You can learn yours quickly. I have taken my quads many times straight up and then down without any problems. And like said, if it starts to wobble give some throttle..
  • 3D Robotics
    MIke, just descend slowly and you should be fine.
  • I understand the whole concept of dirty air in the propellers on descent. I have seen this overcome on the MK while in elevator mode (I think that is what it is called). I have been in several situations where I do not have enough sky to fly down due to tall trees in the area I am shooting photos in so I do not have the option to "fly down" What is the best way to overcome dirty air in this situation?


  • i removed channel filter on throttle
    it has a tighter response without that (i need that ;) )
  • John beat me to the punch, any rotary craft will have problems with rapid virtical decent, the props are swimming in their own turbulence on the way down, it's a serous problem with real life helo's, you have to power forward to clear the turbulence.
  • was just flying with new code
    everything i can say: rock solid!
  • Moderator
    Guys, for issues with instability on descent, look up "settling under power" and "vortex ring state" for a better understanding. This is an issue with any rotary craft. The AP will do its best, but can't always overcome the issue.
This reply was deleted.